The first findings from a new research project to detect and identify undiscovered shipwrecks lost during the rescue of troops from Dunkirk during ‘Operation Dynamo’  are set for display in museums.

Historic England announces search for shipwrecks lost during Dunkirk evacuation

The French marine heritage agency, Drassm, in collaboration with Historic England, recently conducted a survey of 30 shipwrecks off the coast of Dunkirk. These survey findings will soon be accessible to the public through museums, Historic England reports, shedding light on the remnants of the evacuation of 338,000 Allied soldiers in 1940.

The survey, which marked the first joint effort between Drassm and Historic England, provided a detailed analysis of the position, characteristics, and condition of each wreck,.

Led by Drassm archaeologists Cécile Sauvage and Claire Destanque, the survey, geophysicist Alexis Rochat collaborated with UK geophysicist Mark James of MSDS Marine, commissioned by Historic England for the project.

Out of the 30 wrecks surveyed, the team successfully located and examined 27, with precise positions established for 12 wrecks that had been previously unknown.

The recent survey has corrected the identities of two wrecks, the French auxiliary minesweepers Denis Papin and Moussaillon, which had been previously confused.

The survey marks the initial phase of a multi-year project, laying the groundwork for diving investigations set to begin next year, in collaboration with local divers.

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England said: “The results give us a striking insight into our shared heritage that still lies beneath the waters off Dunkirk.”

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